Jacques Surveyer: Image Grid Plugins

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January 16, 2016

The rallying cry for WordPress has become an Apple take-off “there is a free plugin for that”. So the premium plugins have to offer substantial value to win over developers. Here are two image grid plugins, Justified Image Grid and Essential Grid, that offer just such value.

Responsive image grids that work well on mobile and desktop screens.
Ability to incorporate portrait, landscape, and varying dimensions images in the same masonry layout image grid.
Add styled captions, links, and shortcodes to images.
Use a variety of image sources including WP gallery, NextGen, FaceBook, Flickr, Instagram, etc.
Provide an image grid of feature Posts based on taxonomy, category, or date.
Provide a variety of lightboxes for magnification of images with captions.
Allow for page or load more infinite image scrolling.
Provide filtering of images displayed in the grid with buttons along the top for All, Tagged, Category, Etc filters.
Provide a variety of styling options for individual images and the grid as a whole.
I compare the best of the free image plugins with these features.
(Disclosure: I am not now nor will be in the future be an affiliate for either of these vendors or their representatives. The motivation: several times for $28 or less these plugins saved my bacon by lowering cost of development by hundreds of dollars while delivering advanced and winning features to clients.)

Learning Outcomes:

– Outline the key uses of image grids in WordPress development.
– Demonstrate the advantage of responsive grids in mobile design.
– Show how image grids can display mixed size plus portrait and landscape images well in a masonry layout.
– Create a visual sitemap for a website.
– Create an instant shopping cart grid for an array of products.
– Help answer the question when to consider a premium plugin.

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